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HTC 10 Specs and Technologies: Another Decent Smartphone

by Stuart Robinson | Apr 12, 2016

HTC announced its latest flagship smartphone in ten cities today. Cutting through the marketing hyperbole such as "Power of 10" and "inspired by light", the specs of the HTC 10 are pretty decent:

- A Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, the processor to be seen with in 2016

- A 5.2-inch Quad HD (2560 x 1440 pixel) Super LCD 5 display with 564ppi pixel density

- A 12MP rear-facing camera boasting a 1.55um pixel size, f/1.8, OIS and laser AF

- A 5MP front-facing camera with a 1.34um pixel size, f/1.8 and OIS

- Impressive audio capabilities with a tweeter and a sub-woofer

- USB Type-C connector

- 32GB NAND Flash and 4GB RAM

- A 3000 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0 wall charger 

It's very difficult to get excited about smartphone announcements nowadays, even flagship devices. The main components (processor, memory, display, camera, battery, connectivity, sensors) are all good enough to make any smartphone capable of performing exceptionally well on benchmarks. There's always room for improvement of course, but the component improvements are generally small incremental steps rather than giant leaps.

So HTC has its work cut out to make the specs of the new HTC 10 stand out from the rest. Until we know how the device is priced it's difficult to know whether it will be successful and we don't know yet whether it will appear on the right shelves at the right price. It almost certainly won't be as competitively priced as the similarly-specd Xiaomi Mi5, but then nothing is! The HTC 10 is likely to be competing against the LG G5, Sony Xperia Z5, Samsung Galaxy S7 and Huawei P9 on specs and price.

HTC 10

Where HTC has managed to impress is with the cameras. The HTC 10 has the world's first front-facing camera with OIS (optical image stabilisation), which should help it to take superior quality selfies and videos. The main camera on the back is no slouch either and, although it's not the highest resolution camera by a long way, what it lacks in megapixels it more than makes up for in image quality. The pixel size on the "UltraPixel 2" CMOS sensor is very large at 1.55 µm, compared to a typical 1.1 µm to 1.2 µm nowadays, so each pixel is able to capture more photons of light. Combined with a good quality lens and the dual ISP of the Snapdragon 820, the result is a DxOMark Mobile score of 88, placing at joint first in the DxOMark mobile rankings for smartphone cameras, alongside the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.

And the audio capabilities are excellent too, in both recording and playback mode. It's the first smartphone with 4K video capture and 24-bit Hi-Res stereo audio capture, capable of recording at up to 120 dB without clipping. On the audio output side, the HTC 10 includes a separate tweeter and subwoofer, each with its own driver amplifier, delivering very good sound quality.

There will be two versions of the HTC 10; the second option will be lower specd with 3GB RAM instead of 4GB and a Snapdragon 652 instead of a Snapdragon 820. From what we know today both versions will have the same display, camera and other components. The device will go on sale in Taiwan on 14th April and in Europe at the end of April.

It’s almost impossible to stun the market with stand-out specs these days, so all things considered it’s a good effort from HTC.

Stuart Robinson

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